In Malama Pono

Aloha UPW Ohana, 

We know there have been many questions and concerns regarding the Governor’s emergency proclamation and various vaccine and testing policies. 

While we support and encourage COVID-19 vaccination for all who are physically able and willing to receive it, we continue to strongly oppose the governor unilaterally imposing a vaccine and testing policy without consultation or bargaining with us. We strongly object to the widespread confusion he has caused through his inconsistent policies, lack of effective communication, and unwillingness to collaborate.    

Our voice is strongest when we all work together. So, we have unified with the other public sector unions – HGEA, HSTA, UHPA, SHOPO, and HFFA – to demand fair and humane treatment for our members.Together, with our attorneys, we continue to review all of the employer directives to determine what legal remedies are availableto best achieve this. 

Along with fighting for a safe and healthy workplace for our members, it is also our top priority to protect your jobs. For that reason, we strongly recommend following through on your department’s vaccine and testing policy. Please provide your vaccination status (“attestation”) to your employer by their deadline. Also, if you plan on claiming a medical or religious exemption, please do so as soon as possible. And please work with your department on testing when it arises.  

The employers have chosen to provide limited options for their vaccine and testing policies. Although these options are limited and fail to respect your value, it is extremely important that you comply, as your employer has asserted that failure to complete the attestation may result in discipline, including termination. Remember, as a Union, our highest priority is job security and WE NEED YOU to do your part. 

Should you have any questions regarding your department’s vaccine and testing policy, we highly recommend that you contact your personnel or human resources office. The policies among the departments are likely different. Please do not assume that another department’s policy applies to you.  

If we can assist you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your business agent.  

We deeply appreciate your continued support and patience during these challenging times. Please know that we will continue fighting for you.   

Mahalo, 

Liz Ho 

Administrator 

United Public Workers/AFSCME Local 646 

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